How to cut plastic waste from your Fourth of July party

So, how can you reduce plastic waste, and even your carbon footprint, for an environmentally friendly Fourth of July party? A sustainability expert offered a handful of tips to consider when you plan.
So, how can you reduce plastic waste, and even your carbon footprint, for an environmentally friendly Fourth of July party? A sustainability expert offered a handful of tips to consider when you plan. Photo credit Pamela D. McAdams/Getty Images
By , KCBS Radio

For many Americans, Fourth of July barbecues, gatherings and parties this weekend could be the first they’ve attended since many areas lifted COVID-19 restrictions this year.

Many will be reminded of the family, friends, food and fireworks they missed out on a year ago, but plenty of July 4 celebrations could also include an overabundance of single-use plastics.

Between decorations, plates, silverware, table settings and other pre-packaged items, a Fourth of July party can contribute to growing global plastic pollution. The United Nations Environment Programme has estimated that only 9% of the world’s plastic is properly recycled.

"It can really add up," Lauren Olson, Zero Waste Manager for World Centric, said of single-use plastics during July 4 celebrations during a Friday interview with KCBS Radio’s Eric Thomas.

So, how can you reduce plastic waste, and even your carbon footprint, for an environmentally friendly Fourth of July party? Olson offered a handful of tips to consider when you plan:

1.  Purchase local, organic food rather than options that traveled long d